Agrivisor Afternoon Marketwatch 12/15/2015

Tuesday, December 15, 2015
***** Corn futures ended 1 1/2 to 2 lower, soybeans 7 to 8 lower, with Chicago wheat fractional to 1 higher. ***** 

   # Some characterized Tuesday’s trade as a “turnaround Tuesday,” but in truth, it was more a quiet Tuesday, with prices not having much range or direction, other than soybeans.   
   # The bigger talk in the grain trade seemed to again surround the possibility of Argentina possibly devaluing their currency.  The official rate is near 9.8 Pesos/Dollar, with the unofficial rate close to 14.5.  Their central bank wants to do it, but with inflation thought to already be near 25%, there’s some uncertainty as to how quick and how much they might shift the exchange rate.
   # The elimination of the export taxes on wheat and corn, but especially the latter, has dropped the corn FOB value under the US Gulf.  U.S. wheat continues to be quoted about $10-$12/ton over values for other origins.   Of those, the EU has the most yet to sell, with the level of the exchange rate between the Euro and the Dollar a potentially significant ingredient.
   # The USDA reported 120,000 tons of soybeans were sold to China today.  New information out of China suggest the level of soybean imports through March should continue to be a little higher than they were last year.
   # The NOPA November crush number, 156.1 mln. bu. was slightly less than expected and lower than last month.  But there was 1 less business day in November.
   # A governmental agency in Mato Grosso Brazil lowered their forecasts for soybeans and 2nd crop corn 1 mmt. each because of the ongoing scattered dry pockets in the state. 
   # The latest weather forecasts for the Midwest suggest relatively warm temps will return again after this brief cool down.  Both the 6-10 and 8-14 day outlooks have above normal temps from the Great Plains east.  Moisture is expected to be above normal from the Midsouth into the central/eastern Corn Belt. 
   # Dry weather continues to be a slight worry for growers in Mato Grosso and the northeastern states of Brazil.  Only scattered showers are in the outlook for the regions next week.  Longer range forecasts have more moisture, but aren’t as reliable. The southern region continues to see good rain, with scattered pockets of flooding, including parts of Argentina. 
   # Tomorrow, all eyes will be on the Fed. Reserve and their decision whether to raise interest rates.  Economic data today pointing to higher inflation rates should bolster the decision to finally raise rates.  Fed funds futures are said to be predicting an 83% likelihood they will raise rates.  Look for the announcement about 1 pm central time.
***** Live cattle ended $0.70 to $0.07 higher, with feeders $0.05 to $0.67 lower; with lean hogs ending $1.22 lower to $0.12 higher. ***** 

   # Large market ready hog supplies and looming holiday curtailed slaughter weeks, were working against cash and front month futures prices.  Wholesale markets were slightly higher, but the volume seemed more reserved than recent days.
   # Cattle futures firmed up on short covering and spread unwinding against lean hogs.  Cash had a moderate trade as low as $115.00, with the choice beef ending lower at $197.21.